Just when you think Chianti Dan cannot possibly screw up any worse than he already has, the bloated waste of human flab known as Dan Guerrero manages to up the ante with another monumental blunder, one that would be enough to lead to his immediate termination if we had anything resembling leadership from Gene Block and his brain-dead bureaucratic minions at Murphy Hall.
This time, however, it's hard to say which monumental f**k-up is worse. First, there's the overly-generous contract given to Steve Alford, a Big Time reject who has never made it past the Sweet Sixteen in eighteen Division I seasons and who infamously mishandled (to put it mildly) a sexual assault scandal involving one his players, all while letting Brad Stevens, the hottest coaching commodity in college hoops, slip away because we were playing cheap and hard with Stevens, only to watch the Boston Celtics snap him up. Or, if you carefully review Chianti Dan's past comments on Alford's contract and hiring, the very real possibility that Dan Guerrero misled the public and media about the terms of Alford's contract.
So, which is worse? The screwed-up hiring process that led to Alford instead of Stevens? The ridiculous money we're throwing at a mediocre Big Ten reject coach like Alford? Or, Chianti Dan reportedly misleading us about it?
There's no need to re-hash in detail how Chianti Dan completely botched the hiring process that led to Steve Alford being named as Ben Howland's successor; that painful memory (for years to come apparently) was laid out in detail earlier here and here, revealing the depth of Dan Guerrero's complete clownish incompetence.
Instead, let's start by discussing what the Los Angeles Times released tonight: an overly generous contract that sticks UCLA with a Big Ten reject who has yet to make it past the Sweet Sixteen, or suffer through an outrageously high buy-out. There's the buy-out: $10.4 million is owed to Sweet Sixteen burn-out Steve
Lavin Alford if the Bruins give him the boot before April, 2016 (emphasis added):
If he quits before April 30, 2016, he must pay the school $10.4 million. That penalty drops each year after that, to $7.8 million, $5.2 million and finally $2.6 million in his final year, ending with the 2018-2019 season.
The contract calls for UCLA to pay Alford the same amounts if he's fired — a mirror-image termination clause that experts in sports law call unusual — so it provides a great degree of job security for the new coach.
Yes, you read that right. We're stuck with Steve Alford, regardless of the on-court results, for the next three basketball seasons. We could lose every game, and unless a big-time donor (read: Casey Wasserman) steps up to fund the $10.4 million buy-out, this Big Ten reject is going nowhere fast. How ridiculous is this buy-out? If Kansas fires Bill Self (you know, a guy who has actually won a NCAA championship) before April 1, 2018, the Jayhawks are only on the hook for $5.3 million. Yes, a national title winning coach at a public institution is tied by a buy-out of just slightly more than half of what we gave Alford. Oh, but it gets worse. Consider that Alford will get a combined $2.6 million per year in salary ($300K being his university base salary, $2.3 million being his "talent fee"), while Roy Williams, a head coach with not one, but two NCAA titles to his name gets paid just under $2 million per year. Don't believe me? You can read it yourself (amazing what you can find on the internet). And of course, that doesn't include all the contractual perks that Alford will getting (which greatly off-sets the cost of living disparity between Los Angeles and Chapel Hill or Lawrence, Kansas):
There is one academic incentive, of $10,000, for achieving a team Academic Progress Rate score of above 925 — the threshold at which teams can be hit with sanctions by the NCAA. In other words, Alford will earn $10,000 a year if the team avoids academic penalties.
UCLA is providing Alford two BMWs, a country club membership and a discounted home loan and will cover the cost of his wife's travel to out-of-town basketball events.
And of course, there's the various incentive bonuses for things like doing his damn job, such as winning the Pac-12 conference ($15K for the Pac-12 tournament, $20K for the regular season), or making the NCAA tournament ($25K just if UCLA makes the field), and a $150K bonus if Alford conducts off-season basketball camps (you know, those wonderful, looks-great-for-the-program-in-the-community kids' summer basketball camps). Isn't it a little backward that we're paying the guy $2.6 million per year to be our basketball coach, but we need to give him a financial incentive to win or do the charitable thing and reach out to youth basketball camps? I don't remember seeing "profit by all means possible" on Coach's pyramid anywhere.
All-in-all, this is literally the end result of Chianti Dan botching the Stevens negotiation (the man didn't fly from Indiana to Los Angeles for some fish tacos and a chat; as Boston found out, he was looking for the next major job opportunity of his career), and throwing money at a one-and-done tournament loser that was a failure in the mediocre Big Ten because he was scared of the perception of being turned away twice (not that Alford was going to go anywhere since no one else was trying to hire this Big Ten reject).
But, let's turn away from the insane contract we've gifted this Big Ten reject, and turn to the big bombshell of the Times' release of Alford's contract: that once again, apparently Chianti Dan has been caught contradicting himself:
Also notable is his signing bonus, which at almost $850,000 is significantly larger than UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero originally indicated it would be.
Alford's agreement with UCLA indicates the coach received an $845,615 signing bonus and specifies it is meant to cover the costs of his early departure from New Mexico. At the time of Alford's signing with UCLA, Guerrero said the bonus would be limited to $200,000, and an athletic department spokesman later told The Times "we did not sweeten the deal," adding that "when Steve signed with us, we agreed we would compensate him for the amount of the buyout, including the tax consequences."
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a conference call that Alford will receive a seven-year, $18.2 million contract. Guerrero said Alford will be paid $2.6 million a year plus a $200,000 signing bonus and that Alford would have to pay a buyout to New Mexico but that UCLA would work with him.
New Mexico AD Paul Krebs said the buyout is still being worked out.
Apparently, in Chianti-speak, "work[ing] with him" means UCLA will simply pay the buy-out for him. The actual exchange (as posted by Inside UCLA's Jack Wang) is pretty revealing of Chianti Dan's ability to obfuscate the truth:
Q: What are the contract terms?
It’s a seven-year deal, $18.2 million. $2.6 million a year. It has a $200,000 signing bonus. Obviously, there’s a bonus pool that’s included in that.
Q: How will you handle his buyout with New Mexico?
Generally speaking, it’s the coach himself that has that responsibility, but we’ll work out the details if necessary.
So, if I wanted to talk out of both sides of my mouth like Dan to reportedly mislead you all, I could say that, generally speaking, Dan Guerrero is a fantastic athletic director with a wonderful vision for UCLA athletics. But, because he's an incompetent buffoon who has made a mockery of our university, we'll work out the details of calling for his termination if necessary.
See what I did there?
I mean, I suppose this shouldn't come as a complete shock, especially since we've already caught Chianti Dan misleading the public before. With an uncanny ability to speak out of both sides of his mouth, it's no wonder he's such a "warrior" when it comes to guzzling down his trademark vino.
Amazing how $200,000 suddenly became $845,615, all in secret, with UCLA apparently purposefully dragging their feet in releasing the contract to the Times:
The Times requested the contract multiple times in recent months under the California Public Records Act but was told it had not been finalized. Although it is dated March 30, the document was not formally executed until last week, according to UCLA senior associate athletic director Mark Harlan.
Why are we not surprised at the depths that Chianti Dan and his scumbag minions (such as right-hand douchebag Mark Harlan) are willing to do to protect their own incompetent regime? Isn't it an awfully funny coincidence that this bombshell (that Chianti Dan reportedly misled the media and the public on the amount of Alford's signing bonus) dropped while our moronic athletic director is busy downing chianti somewhere in Italy, all while school is out in Westwood and UCLA sports interest is in the usual summer lull? If you wanted to sneak one by the UCLA fan base, now is the perfect time to try, so I doubt the "contract being finalized now" is a coincidence (especially since it's dated from late March).
It's time to get people to wake up to what a complete and utter failure Chianti Dan Guerrero is and it's time to put the full-court press on Gene Block to terminate this loser and kick his chianti-swilling fat ass out of Morgan Center as quickly as possible.